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MINUTES  - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING - APRIL 26, 2016

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 26th day of April, 2016, by Mayor Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

ROLL CALL:  Roll call was taken with the following members present:  Council member Wohlers, Solvie, Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Police Chief Tiegs, Public Works Director Dittbenner and City Attorney Jordan. 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTSResolution Accepting and Approving the 2015 Annual Financial Statements for the City of MorrisJamie Faye, Audit Manager from the city's auditing firm of Eide Bailey, was present at the meeting and reviewed the city's executive summary for 2015.  The city received a clean unmodified audit opinion, which is what the city wants and has received in the past.  Total expenditures for the city were $4,396,326 and revenues of $4,338,242.  At the end of the year the city had a fund balance of $3.6 million.  Faye stated the city has been consistent from year to year in revenues and expenditures.  The city tends to budget conservatively which is consistent with other cities. 

City Manager Hill added debt load is going down because the city hasn't done a big project for two years.  The Oregon Avenue project for this year has state and federal funds and the city will be borrowing a small amount for the remainder.  Hill indicated with regard to fund balances and reserves, those may be drawn out a little for a one time use but not for ongoing costs because it will bleed it down.  Hill stated the city has been able to keep taxes down because of LGA but it is getting to the point where if the legislature doesn't make an adjustment in this session, the city will have to figure out how to deal with that in next year's budget.  Hill noted the liquor store numbers went from $1.6 million to over $2 million.  Hill stated they are good at identifying things that sell and it's a very nice business for the city to have as a revenue source. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3384-16, Resolution Accepting and Approving the 2015 Annual Financial Statements for the City of Morris.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Eutectics Presentation - Solar Energy Projects:  The City of Morris received a CERTS grant to look at using solar energy.  The grant authorized $5,000 to hire a consultant, Eutectics, to assist the city in developing solar projects. Jeremy Kalin, the CEO of Eutectics was present at the meeting to discuss the Morris Model Clean Energy Financing Hub.  Kalin stated in 2015 the City, UMM and Eutectics partnered to create the Morris Model Clean Energy Hub Blueprint.  Kalin reviewed the long and short term goals and opportunities of the blueprint.

Kalin recognized that the city has already completed an LED lighting project by upgrading the lighting in 12 municipal buildings, parking lots and city owned street lights.  The project was financed using a municipal lease so it doesn't show up as debt.  The project will see an annual energy and operational savings of $31,042 in first full year of operation. 

Kalin and Hill both noted that these partnerships with Saerbeck, Germany, UMM and the City of Morris are getting national and international attention.  Kalin added that Morris has a very good reputation at the legislature.  Kalin indicated they would bring a solar feasibility analysis back to the council on June 28th

PUBLIC HEARINGSPublic Hearing and 2nd Reading of Ordinance No. 105, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code - Various Chapters and Sections 2016A:  Hill pointed out the council would be seeing more of these ordinances as he continues to try and fix some issues in the code.  Council member Storck asked about the fire department charge for carbon monoxide and whether or not insurance would cover that.  Hill noted that those calls wouldn't be the full $500 like a fire call, it may be something like the first false alarm is free and then a $100 charge for subsequent calls.  Hill stated he is working directly with the Fire Chief to figure out the best way to handle those. 

Council member Wohlers left the meeting at this point.

Mayor Giese opened the public hearing at 6:02.  There being no comments from the public, Mayor Giese closed the public hearing at 6:02 and brought the matter back to the council for action.

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Ordinance No. 105, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code - Various Chapters and Sections 2016A.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 4/12/16 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the 4/12/16 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

4/12/16 Condensed Minutes:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 4/12/16 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

CONSENT AGENDA:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the consent agenda which included the following items:

A.  Audit of City Bills

B.  Raffle License Report - Morris Area Post Prom

C.  Expenditure/Revenue Report

D.  Gambling Report

E. 9/15/15 Planning Commission Minutes

F. 1/14/16 & 2/11/16 SCEIC Minutes

G.  3/16/16 Tourism Board Minutes

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSGambling Report - American Legion:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to accept the gambling report from the American Legion.  Upon a roll call vote taken and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the Legion.  Motion carried.

Appointment to Library Board:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to appoint Richard Richards to the Library Board to fill the term of Becky Hennen.  Motion carried.

Motion to Approve $2,000 for PPD Fireworks:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve a contribution of $2,000 to the Eagles for the PPD fireworks celebration.  Motion carried.

Motion to Approve PPD Budget:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the proposed Prairie Pioneer Days budget.  Motion carried.  Hill noted the city will pick up the balance out of the tourism funds.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSFirst Reading of Ordinance No. 106, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code - Chapter 11:  Hill explained that a request was made by a property owner in the Industrial Park to add Commercial and Private Storage Buildings to a Light Industrial District.  The Planning Commission took action to set a public hearing but because it is part of Chapter 11 one of the additional requirements is that the council also hold a public hearing.  Hill recommended the council set their public hearing for May 24th, which would be after the PC's public hearing.  It was the consensus of the council that this change made sense and it would add some tax base to the city.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to accept this as the first reading of Ordinance No. 106, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code - Chapter 11 and set a public hearing and second reading for 5:20 on May 24th.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSWater Plant Bids:  Hill stated bids were opened for the water plant project and came in very high with a bid of $17,215,300.  Hill noted the legislature is scheduled to be done on May 23rd so Kris from Bolton & Menk will come to the May 24th meeting to give the city an update.  Hill recommended the extra garage that was a bid as an alternate be removed from the project for a reduction of $356,700. 

Hill noted staff looked at finding a number of items that could be taken out to make it cheaper, but it is a legal issue and the city can't pick and choose what to pull out of the bid.  Staff also talked about rebidding the project but because the city is in the process of obtaining public facilities funding a bid needs to be in place for the June deadline.  Hill recommended the council sit on this bid, which the city is allowed to do for up to 75 days.  Hill stated the legislature has taken this information and had some high level discussions with the governor, PFA and the MPCA.  Hill indicated the last word he received is that there is legislation that, if passed the way it's written right now, will raise the cap on the point source grant from $3 to $7 million and raise the drinking water cap to $5 million.  This increases the city's eligibility for funding to $12 million, but the project has to be ready to go.  Hill noted one thing that's consistent is that everybody likes Morris' project and it's at a point where it's ready to build. 

Council member Storck asked if the city was building a Cadillac when it could get by with a Chevrolet.  Hill indicated staff and the engineers are looking at what the city needs right now and what it needs for the future.  Hill stated if the most money the city gets is $3 million it may have to reject all the bids and go back to the legislature next year. 

It was the consensus of the council to wait and see what happens with the legislature. 

Problem - PDT Water Service Line:  Hill explained that the company boring the water service line to PDT Park hit a solid blockage and were unable to get through.  Hill stated they are looking for solutions and once he hears from the company he will bring it back to the council. 

City Manager Newsletter:  This was informational for the council.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to accept the resignation of Dale Livingston from the Planning Commission.  Motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:40 p.m.

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